Trade Lanes

Trade Lanes

In-depth news and analysis of the world's major shipping trade lanes including the trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe and more.

Several variables can affect a trade lane's popularity — including its inclusion/discontinuance by an ocean carrier. The container line landscape is constantly evolving as market dynamics present new challenges to the industry.


Negotiations for 2019-2020 shipping contracts will be difficult on a number of fronts.

News & Analysis

30 Nov 2020
A series of developments over the past roughly five years has put shippers in the most disadvantageous position in regard to pricing power that they have perhaps ever faced.
27 Nov 2020
An intra-Asian trade pact, likely to be ratified next year, will cut or eliminate tariffs, harmonize rules of origin regulations, and deepen regional supply chains.
19 Nov 2020
Indian shippers are preparing for other carriers to levy equipment surcharges for US-bound cargoes after Mediterranean Shipping Co. said it will do so starting Dec. 3.
18 Nov 2020
Feeder vessels are seeing over 48 hours berthing delay in Colombo and nearly 36 hours in Singapore, lowering the number of possible voyages and raising costs.
16 Nov 2020
Many trans-Pacific shippers still have contract rates far below current spot rates, and while they cannot necessarily ship all their cargo on those low rates and at the same time get the space and equipment they need, they still do benefit.
12 Nov 2020
The sustained demand for Asian exports is worsening an equipment imbalance that has built steadily through the peak season on the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trades.
02 Nov 2020
Equipment shortages coincide with a recovery in regional economies and the shift of production to other regional countries due to the China-US trade spat.
02 Oct 2020
If container shipping rode the wave of China’s emergence, set in motion by the global consensus around trade represented by the creation of the WTO in 1995, the industry must now confront a potentially very different geopolitical future taking shape with almost daily developments chronicling a deterioration in US-China relations.
03 Sep 2020
While Bangladesh saw a huge jump in apparel exports last month, factories are seeing fewer orders from western buyers for September and October.
02 Sep 2020
Carriers have already delayed services calling at Busan and Japanese ports, including Tokyo, due to the typhoons, while also omitting some calls, including Yokohama.
02 Sep 2020
While there has been a discernible shift in global sourcing patterns toward countries in Southeast Asia, India has yet to become a key beneficiary of that evolving migration, with the challenges tied to its ocean supply chains seen as a big barrier to larger trade aspirations.
26 Aug 2020
With carriers refocusing on Colombo or other regional hubs for predictable cost advantages in tighter market conditions, Indian cargo owners may have to wait longer to enjoy more competitive, direct shipping solutions.
17 Aug 2020
The new service will significantly shorten the transit time for Bangladeshi cargoes to reach their final destination in the US by — at least 10 days, according to officials.
11 Aug 2020
US imports from Asia and China turned positive in July, but US retailers predict a short peak season they say will be the weakest in four years.
04 Aug 2020
Sources expect Bangladesh’s export figures for August and September to fall sharply, given the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and bankruptcy declarations from some major apparel retailers.
14 Jul 2020
Bangladesh’s maritime regulator implemented the quarantine in February just as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began spreading globally.
10 Jul 2020
A new waterborne service has debuted between Chittagong and Kolkata, saving time and money for shippers.
22 Jun 2020
Select blank sailings on the East Coast South America-Asia trade come as currency devaluations by both Brazil and Argentina are boosting exports to Asia, particularly of reefer cargoes, fueling an imbalance in container volumes.
29 May 2020
As intra-Asia volumes seek to find their footing amid COVID-19, the mounting war of words over China’s initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak could result in a shift of multinational manufacturing from China to other regional players.
14 May 2020
US imports from Asia declined 1.3 percent in April from the same month last year. It was the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year decline in imports in the eastbound trans-Pacific.
01 May 2020
A temporary rush of imports, coupled with blank sailings in Asia, resulted in increased spot rates this week.
24 Apr 2020
Carriers will blank dozens of sailings in the trans-Pacific as they anticipate a double-digit drop in imports in May and June.
22 Apr 2020
The devastating impact of the US-China trade war followed by the COVID-19 destruction of consumer demand in the US will result in a dispersal of trade lanes connecting North America with growing production clusters in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Latin America.
17 Apr 2020
The series of blank sailings is intended to shore up freight rates that have dropped to around $900-$1,000 per FEU from about $2,400 per FEU at the beginning of the year.
14 Apr 2020
The strong growth in US resin exports of the last two years could falter in 2020 as overseas production gets cheaper due to the fall in oil prices and demand weakens amid the global recessionary pressures from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
23 Mar 2020
Growth in trade between the United States and Europe decelerated only slightly in 2019, even as antagonism over tariffs, taxes, and subsidies on both sides of the Atlantic deepened.
18 Mar 2020
Cosco Shipping is adding a route linking the US Gulf Coast with Brazil and other parts of South America, despite data showing trade growth between the US and Latin America slowed last year.
18 Mar 2020
The dearth of Asia volumes will give way to surges hitting North American and European ports that may be short-lived as recessionary conditions dampen demand.
17 Mar 2020
While Chinese manufacturing and trucking capacity is recovering as workers return from quarantine, the surge of containerized exports being produced threaten to overwhelm some North American ports and inland networks.
13 Mar 2020
Double-digit week-over-week increase in West Coast spot rate Friday reflects a surge in US imports leaving Chinese ports, as well as the tightening of capacity due to blank sailings.
10 Mar 2020
Big capacity cuts fueled by coronavirus-related disruptions have resulted in large rate hikes on India trade lanes.
06 Mar 2020
Shippers and transportation providers are hoping the 2019 European Union–Mercosur free trade agreement will finally bring some much-needed stability to the northbound South America–Europe trade lane, but lawmakers in Europe are having a tough time ratifying the deal.
02 Mar 2020
Terminal operators in Los Angeles-Long Beach are canceling work shifts due to plunging cargo volumes, which is causing a backlog of empty containers in Southern California and could trigger chassis shortages if the condition is not resolved soon.
28 Feb 2020
Spot rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific edged up slightly this week in the wake of blank sailings driven by the Lunar New Year and the coronavirus, although industry sources express optimism for growing cargo volumes in the second half of March.
18 Feb 2020
Declining imports due to factory shutdowns in Asia from the Lunar New Year and the coronavirus are beginning to produce a shortage of empty containers in the US interior, with the shortages expected to spike in March.